Is it possible for a naturally passive person to eventually become assertive?
As a mild-mannered someone who dislikes conflict and awkward situations, I have on many occasions let people talk to me in ways I didn't like because I didn't want to create an awkward moment for others in the group or I wanted to avoid conflict. I'm the kind of person that feels uncomfortable telling "no" to strangers and acquaintances because they might get mad. These type of encounters almost always leave me feeling angry at myself for not having spoken up and on rare occasions will cause me to have an outburst of rage if pushed too much. I'm trying to work on ways to become a more assertive person, who doesn't have to seek permission to do things, but sometimes I'm afraid my nature will win and my efforts will be in vain, leaving me as nothing but a tool and a people pleaser.
yes. though generally you wont naturally become assertive. you have to actually be assertive ABOUT being assertive to become assertive.
you have to choose your battles. but if you have nothing to lose by saying 'no' then why not say no?
you also have the option of stepping away from the arguments. almost universally. almost
I'm currently undergoing group therapy as training.
I'm the most dominant and assertive member of my group by far. I know my mind, I speak up and I try to back up everything I say with reason.
I do my best to speak calmly, to listen carefully, to be diplomatic... and some people still find me intimidating and accuse me of being overbearing. It's just the way it is.
You have to accept that being assertive, confident and honest unsettles a lot of people because they've got by their entire lives taking the route of least resistance and passively accepting things.
You can be passive, nod along, which will give you an easier life, or you can be active, defiant when it's justified and confident which will inevitably get people's backs up and threaten them.
It comes naturally to some people and not to others. Trying to force it will likely backfire. You try to assert yourself, you'll see people better at the game escalating on you, and you won't win; you'll either cave or make yourself look like an aggressive asshole, or both. Socially-capable people have an eye for people who will take their shit, and will not stand to see this authority challenged. You will lose every time.
So you're a doormat. Sucks, bud, but that's the card you got dealt. If you don't like it, then start saying no to everyone* and doing your best to stand your ground. Don't try to hang with them verbally, keep it simple and NO. Let them be the one to start getting ridiculous. Don't debate them, don't mock them, don't correct them, just keep saying, "I don't care, the answer is no." People like an easy mark and will learn to leave you be if you're not one. Granted, this will rarely be socially graceful, but there you are.
*Obviously tread carefully with this at work and with other people on which you are dependent. Your boss is not the person you want to be experimenting with defensive negatory stances.
There's a difference between standing your ground and being an asshole about it.
If youre gonna defy people, you need to be calm, collected and rational. Explain why you said no in a polite tone. If you've been as diplomatic as possible and they still wanna argue, then walk away.